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Top 10 Actors We Wish Would Play Disney Villains

VO: Emily Brayton
Script written by Alex Crilly-Mckean Have you ever wondered what it would be like if our favorite actors played Disney characters? These casting choices would be a dream come true. It seems like a no brainer for Meryl Streep to play Lady Tremaine, Kelsey Grammer as Frollo, Russell Brand as Captain Hook, Cloris Leachman as Yzma, Benedict Cumberbatch as Scar, Dwayne Johnson as Gaston and Queen Latifah as Ursula!

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Top 10 Actors We Wish Would Play Disney Villains

Any of these casting choices would be a dream come true… or perhaps a nightmare come true. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Actors We Wish Would Play Disney Villains.

For this list, we’ll be looking at actors and actresses we think would nail the part as live-action versions of famous Disney baddies.

#10: Meryl Streep as Lady Tremaine

Although she’s played plenty of sympathetic characters, Meryl Streep has also earned major award recognition for her more devilish roles. Who better to play the wickedest stepmother in all of animation? Streep can pull off a villain with grace and poignancy to the point that even we feel on edge. “The Devil Wears Prada” attests to that. While many have tried, few have actually managed to channel the low-key, domestic evil of Lady Tremaine that has so frequently brought Cinderella to tears. With the role in the hands of such a great actress, we feel that she would nail it, not to mention add a whole new layer of bitterness to the character.

#9: Kelsey Grammer as Frollo

Many consider this Judge to be the Mouse House’s most complex villain; nearly burning down Paris, manipulating and imprisoning Quasimodo, expressing horrifically lewd intentions towards Esmeralda, you get the idea. Tony Jay may be irreplaceable as Frollo’s voice, but we still feel that if given the chance, Frasier himself could create an equally creepy and conniving interpretation. After all, he is the voice of Sideshow Bob and Stinky Pete. As far as bad guys with murderous intentions go, he has quite the résumé. We wonder what his rendition of “Hellfire” would sound like?

#8: Russell Brand as Captain Hook

Many actors have played Peter Pan’s nemesis over the years. Sometimes he comes off as magnificently evil and other times he feels like a bumbling oaf. Russell Brand’s portrayal of the character would probably sit somewhere in between. Sure, he tends to lean towards comedy on screen and on stage, but there’s also a serious edge to him. Check out his online series, “The Trews,” if you don’t believe us. Seeing him take up the role could hopefully give us a blend of quirkiness along with a look into Hook’s unsettling obsession with killing Pan. Besides, can it really be any worse than the Christopher Walken version?

#7: Cloris Leachman as Yzma

Despite her old age and skeletal figure, this character is filled with boundless energy. Even though she’s trying to murder Kuzco, Yzma still provides a ton of laughs. Who better to encompass that than the elderly, but spry, Cloris Leachman? She already had a similar role in “Young Frankenstein,” playing opposite Gene Wilder’s mad scientist. Her portrayal of the sadistic Ida in “Malcolm in the Middle” proved that she can not only play a cruel individual, but also can make them oddly likeable.

#6: Benedict Cumberbatch as Scar

Whether it’s as a computer-generated lion or if with some fur thrown on him, there is no doubt Mr. Cumberbatch would ace the role as this Disney icon. Not only has he consistently brought legendary characters to life, like Smaug the Dragon, Sherlock Holmes, and Doctor Strange, but he has also made these roles his own and redefined them for new generations. Given their shared theatrical background, there’s no one better suited to take the torch from Jeremy Irons than the bombastic Brit. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t kill to see Benedict sing “Be Prepared?”

#5: Dwayne Johnson as Gaston

While we’re not trying to take away from Luke Evans’ performance in the 2017 film, we can’t think of a better actor to play this larger than life villain than Dwayne Johnson. The public adores the Rock and he certainly looks the part with his unbelievable muscle mass. Plus, he demonstrated in “Moana” that he’s got some pretty solid singing chops on him. Gaston actually has a lot in common with demigod Maui, as they’re both self-absorbed show-offs. The only difference is that Maui slowly becomes more humble where Gaston only becomes more conceited. Nevertheless, Johnson would still be pitch perfect as an egomaniac we love to hate.

#4: James Woods as Hades

James Woods has already lent his voice to the Lord of the Underworld. As far as we’re concerned, he would create an equally enjoyable live-action counterpart. James Woods’ performance has become so synonymous with the character that it’s hard to even think of another actor taking on the blue flames. We’re also swayed by the fact that he’s gone on to continually portray the character in all media, and that includes all of the “Kingdom Hearts” video games! We just don’t have it in us to separate the two. Steve Buscemi also would’ve been fun in the role, but he seems like he’d make an even better Panic.

#3: Eddie Murphy as Doctor Facilier

Although Eddie Murphy has starred in a lot of silly comedies in the early 21st century, he’s also demonstrated strong dramatic chops. This is just one of the reasons why he’d likely make a wonderful Dr. Facilier, who manages to be menacing and charismatic simultaneously. Dr. Facilier is equal parts master manipulator, as well as a puppet himself to his friends on the other side. Given Murphy’s vast catalogue of films, he’d be thoroughly entertaining as the Shadow Man while also inspiring fear. Plus, if his Oscar-nominated performance in “Dreamgirls” proved anything, it’s that he needs to do more musicals.

#2: Queen Latifah as Ursula

This dastardly sea witch remains in the top tier when it comes to Disney villains, both in her despicable actions and the sheer power of her singing voice. Granted, Ms. Latifah is better known for being a beacon of sunshine rather than a maelstrom of evilness. Given her talents as a singer and as an actress, though, we’re convinced that she could give the character a much-needed breath of fresh air. Just imagine a more soulful version of “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” Latifah needs to sign up with the Mouse House ASAP!

Before we reveal our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Eric Stonestreet as Governor Ratcliffe

Anne Hathaway as Mother Gothel

#1: Lady Gaga as Cruella De Vil

Admit it, this seems like a match-up of equally bizarre and epic proportions. Given Gaga’s creepy performance on “American Horror Story” and her eclectic taste for fashion, taking on the part of the fur-obsessed Cruella would probably fit like a glove. Glenn Close may have previously made the role her own, but with all the Disney reimaginings as of late, we feel this could benefit the character the most. Wouldn’t it be great if Cruella actually got to sing her own villain song this time around? We’d go Gaga over it!


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